Two sides to Guy

Boston Phoenix letters, June 25, 2010
By BOSTON PHOENIX LETTERS  |  June 24, 2010

I’m a delegate at the state Democratic convention and I didn’t vote for Guy Glodis for auditor. I’m glad that David S. Bernstein and other folks have given us a chance to look into Glodis’s background. The one-year English immersion requirement that he supported has done irreversible harm to children coming into Massachusetts school systems.

We’ve already fought hard on women’s and gay-rights issues. Now is not the time to go backward.

Janet Crane, PhD
Salem

Guy Glodis caught my attention when he led the English-immersion ballot referendum, which was ultimately successful by a large margin (even though the legislature watered it down to nothing). In my opinion, that effort was unfairly mischaracterized as being anti-immigrant; I think it was pro-immigrant because it gave non-English-speaking kids an opportunity to learn English, rather than just their native language. It was empowerment, not seclusion, and Glodis should be commended for tackling a very tough issue head on, regardless of party affiliation.

Mario Beguiristain
Miami Beach, Florida

Unnatural disasters
In drawing a distinction between George W. Bush’s response to Hurricane Katrina and Barack Obama’s response to the BP oil spill, you write, “there is a world of difference between near-criminal corporate irresponsibility and an act of God or a natural disaster.”

I love y’all in Boston, but take it from someone in New Orleans: Katrina was not a “natural” disaster. The hurricane actually side-swiped New Orleans. The disaster came, and some 1800 people died, when the levees broke.

As the Washington Post reported in 2007, a “study commissioned by the Army Corps of Engineers details how Corps officials facing budget pressures cut millions from the construction of key flood walls by shrinking their support pilings. Under pressure from rising waters during Katrina, those walls toppled, causing much of the city flooding.” These findings have been supported by many others, and have become the basis for numerous lawsuits.

Let’s not forget that New Orleans and its neighborhood have suffered the consequences of two disasters that are the fault of people, government, and corporations — not Mother Nature.

Max Niedzwiecki
New Orleans, Louisiana

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